Purdue University Northwest (PNW) has announced it is among the colleges and universities statewide awarded funding through Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Indiana Youth Programs on Campus. The initiative is designed to support higher education institutions in providing high-quality programming for K-12 students.

PNW was awarded $583,000 to expand its existing summer camp offerings for youths and create new academic year programs with optional college credits to create an on-ramp to college.

Kenneth C. Holford, PNW provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs says the grant will support several of their academic programs in expanding opportunities for Northwest Indiana students to explore their interests that can lead to undergraduate majors.

PNW will use the Lilly Endowment funds to support camp programs that span four themes: technology and business; engineering and sciences; humanities and social sciences; and health sciences. PNW says these four themes encompass a wide range of student interests, have direct pathways to PNW undergraduate programs, and align with prominent regional industries.

Lilly Endowment launched Indiana Youth Programs on Campus in 2021 to help Indiana colleges and universities in their efforts to create new or expand and enhance existing on-campus programs for Hoosier youth, ages 5-18.

“By supporting these efforts, we hope that more young people in Indiana will experience what it’s like to be on a college campus and take part in meaningful programs that can help prepare them for success in college,” said Ted Maple, vice president for education at Lilly Endowment. “It is our belief that these programs will not only add to the academic enrichment of young people but also inspire them to see higher education institutions as part of their plans for life after high school.”

PNW offered more than 20 camps to elementary, middle school and high school students during summer 2022. Many were focused on STEM fields, such as robotics, engineering, construction and cybersecurity. Others focused on development of leadership and innovation while the PNW Athletics department offered a variety of sports camps.